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Dilaudid Withdrawal

Dilaudid is a potent opioid medication that is used to treat severe pain after surgery. It’s useful for injuries and chronic pain, but it can also be highly addictive if it’s not used as prescribed. Once someone develops a chemical dependency on Dilaudid, abruptly stopping use can result in extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, Dilaudid withdrawal is only the first step in a long road to lasting recovery.

What Are Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Since Dilaudid is considered a powerful opioid drug, withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to severe. While opiate withdrawal symptoms are not typically deadly when compared to alcohol, these unpleasant symptoms are often impossible to get over alone. In rare cases, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous if you have a medical condition or other complications. 

Former users report that Dilaudid withdrawal is similar to having the flu. Severe opioid addiction, however, will cause intense symptoms that are described as the worst flu you’ll ever have.

The most common symptoms of Dilaudid WIthdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Restlessness
  • Drug cravings
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in blood pressure 

Stages of the Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline

Various factors will determine the severity and length of Dilaudid withdrawal. If you are tapering off the substance with medical help, your withdrawal period may be extended but less intense. If you stop suddenly or “cold turkey,” however, the symptoms will be much more intense. 

You could experience the first symptoms faster if you are tolerant of a high dose of Dilaudid or if you’ve been using it for an extended period. If your last dose was smaller than usual, you might experience the symptoms faster.

Those who stop cold turkey may experience a pattern similar to the following:

  • 12 hours: Symptoms could begin within 12 hours of your last dose, and they will become more intense if your body has adjusted to higher doses of the drug. The first symptoms may feel like the early stages of a cold, along with drug cravings and general discomfort.
  • 2 days: During this time, symptoms tend to get much worse over the first two days as you get close to the peak. You may experience a runny nose, watery eyes, nausea, and excessive yawning. You might also be depressed, have anxiety, and not be able to sleep. Diarrhea is prevalent at this point.
  • 5 days: By this point, your symptoms should reach their peak. Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fatigue, and an inability to sleep are common during this time.
  • 7 days: After the symptoms peak, the most severe symptoms will start to ease up. Nausea and vomiting are the first to disappear, but psychological symptoms may persist for a few weeks. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which can linger for months or even years, may need to be treated and addressed.

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Why Should I Detox?

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants like Dilaudid can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. Opioids affect your entire body, which means withdrawal symptoms will be felt throughout the body. The most immediate withdrawal danger is dehydration, which can be deadly. To avoid these symptoms, an individual must check themselves into treatment. Medical detox will provide the client with medications that help them overcome their symptoms. 

Dilaudid pills spilling out of an orange bottle

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Once you complete detox, you will move through the next levels of care in treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlights the importance of NCBI, but it’s not sufficient on its own to treat addiction. If you have medical or psychological needs after detox, a residential treatment program may be the best setting to help you address your addiction. Speak with a doctor to learn what options are best for you or your loved one.


American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from

Darke, S., Larney, S., & Farrell, M. (2016, August 11). Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal. Retrieved from

The National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 6). Prescription CNS Depressants. Retrieved from

RxList. (2018, October 9). Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses. Retrieved from

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